The chanting, the signs, the bodies, all conspired to one thrilling, deceptive conclusion. They have to win.
Of course, protest doesn’t change the world. By itself, protest is carnival. Masquerade, song, fire- liaisons made and kings mocked. Daily gray briefly overturned. Rebellious ecstasy that ultimately serves to keep the hierarchy in place. Those in power, if they’re a speck self aware, allow carnival as a safety valve. Carnival is not power itself.
I learned this at Occupy Wall Street. We felt like we were building a new world in a concrete square until the NYPD cracked skulls and threw our mini-city in dump trucks.
- “Rubber Bullets in the Streets of Madrid” by Molly Crabapple for VICE